I adored Holly and Paul from the moment I first saw their wedding pictures on Tracy Morter‘s photography blog. They’re a creative couple who planned a gorgeous wedding with a focus on family and friends. Holly’s wedding report is amazing: this lady is as wonderfully practical as she is enthusiastic and creative – it’s an unmissable read for ideas and wedding tips. Thank you beautiful Holly, you rock!
The images, by wonderful wedding photographer Tracy Morter, are fabulous. Tracy’s photography always inspires me: she captures emotion, laughter and smiles as beautifully as she does the finer details of every wedding day. Do visit her website to find out more:
There is so much to see, I don’t know where to begin to introduce this gorgeous wedding: Holly’s beautiful flower crown, her natural hair and make up style, the lovely dress bought in New York… and then Paul’s fantastic blue suit, the incredibly decorative venue… or the laughter and smiles from the beginning of the day through to the last dance…
Our wedding report: Holly and Paul
Wedding photographer’s website:
Were you pleased with your wedding photographer?
We were already friends with Tracy as she has photographed Paul’s band so we knew she was amazing from the outset. What we didn’t expect was how much we treasured her photos and how incredible they were. She is a gem, a lovely person, super cool and we LOVE her! Plus she has mega taste in music and will sit for hours discussing music and her favourite bands. YES!
Duncton Village Hall, Petworth, West Sussex
Can you describe your wedding in a single sentence?
Full of love and laughter. Is that too cheesy? [No! Claire x] Exactly what we imagined.
What was your reaction to seeing your wedding photos for the first time?
We cried, and then cried some more. We looked at them in bed, there were 900 so it took us hours and then we did it all again! In fact, I think that’s all I did for about a week.
Your wedding style and theme:
From the start we knew we wanted it simple and to focus on the family and friends. We made everything from scratch and an army helped us decorate the hall, which was so much fun. We are really drawn to bright colours, the outdoors and campfires so all three featured heavily!
Any happy tears on the day?
My husband wore his sunglasses the whole time, which we didn’t realise until the photos came back! Our best friend married us so it meant an enormous amount. I’m not sure its possible to put into words how much those moments mean, saying vows and making promises. It’s very special. We all cried!
How long did you spend planning your wedding?
Officially, about a year, however I had been looking on blogs long before he proposed so I had a really clear idea of what it might be like. Luckily Paul agreed!
Best bit of budget advice?
A lot of the things you think you need end up not mattering. On the day you are solely focused on getting married and the little expenses don’t seem as important. We focused our budget on food and entertaining our guests rather than venue/dresses etc. Also it’s so much fun to make things with your friend and family.
Wedding invitations and on the day stationery:
My amazing maid of honour Gemma drew them all for us. She is an incredible illustrator and the only person I could have imagined doing them. They were one of my favourite elements of the whole wedding.
Did you fall in love with your wedding dress?
I loved it and felt amazing in it but from the start, I wasn’t too worried about the dress. I bought it online from New York after searching for a long time. People thought I was crazy for ordering I dress I had never seen but I knew I could trust Saja. It turned out to be perfect. It was very very simple with no detail at all on it.
Wedding dress designer and bridal boutique:
Saja Weddings, New York
Glitz and sparkle: the bride’s accessories:
I’m not a big jewellery person so wore a simple Alex Monroe necklace my parents bought me and my grandmothers sapphire ring. I knew I wanted an enormous bright flower crown so kept the sparkle to a minimum!
The groom wore:
A zara suit! We loved the pale blue colour.
Beautiful bridesmaids: what did your best girls wear?
My maid of honour bought her own dress. We know each other very well and so all I told her was to make it bright and colourful. She did the rest and it matched everything so perfectly. My flower girls wore simple white dresses we bought on etsy.
Hair and make-up – did you DIY or hire a professional?
I DIY’ed! I have very long and thick hair so knew I wanted it down and could do it myself. I don’t wear a lot of makeup and tried heaps but felt really silly. The lovely ladies at Laura Mercier helped me choose some products to use. On the day I ended up wearing pretty much nothing, as I was just too excited on the morning of the wedding to put it on! Paul prefers me with no makeup so I think it worked really well and I still felt amazing and me. I definitely think brides get too worried about this. It was incredibly freeing not to worry about makeup or touching up, I felt myself and this is soo important.
The AMAZING Jay Archer. There are no words to describe how incredible this woman is. I don’t think our wedding would have been the same without her blooms. I cried when I saw my flower crown. She is a wonderful person to work with and has extremely creative and original ideas when it comes to her flowers. I keep trying to think of excuses to order flowers from her!
We were married officially at Lewes town hall with immediate family and friends and then two days later had our main ceremony. We had beautiful weather so we had it outdoors overlooking the South Downs. Our good friend conducted it for us, which was amazing. We spent along time writing it with him and he did it so beautifully. It was the most incredible moment of our lives, incredibly emotional, beautiful and heartfelt. One of our best friends played guitar and the other sang for us.
Both mums did readings, one by Bob Marley and the other from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. My 8 year old nephew did a Dr Seuss reading which was hysterical and one of my favourite memories.
General styling – did your venue need much decoration?
It was an empty white hall but had the most incredible outside space and views. We knew that was where we would have it from the start, despite living nowhere near it! We spent the whole day before decorating it with an army of about 25 people and it was an epic amount of effort but totally worth it. This was one of my favourite bits. Everybody just came together and transformed it for us. I don’t think we’ve ever felt so loved or grateful for our friends and family. Special mention must go to my mum who made almost everything including over 4000 felt hearts, which hung from the ceiling! We also had letter lights from Vowed and Amazed, which transformed the space. On the field outside we had a tipi and a Capri marquee to make the space much larger for our guests. We sprayed everything gold and had flowers covering every surface.
The wedding cake: traditional or quirky?
Quirky and made by one of our best friends. It was themed around music and the outdoors. The little birds on top came from the Woodstock poster which we designed our save the date around.
One of our best friends did the DJ duties for us and had everyone dancing all night. Paul and his band, plus a few friends surprised me with a rendition of Tonight we fly by the Divine Comedy. BEST MOMENT EVER! I cried through it all as I wasn’t expecting it. We also had games outside and there was a football/frisby match going on the entire evening. We added a campfire and tipi as I love to toast marsmallows – it’s pretty much my favourite thing!
On the day tips and advice:
Just relax and enjoy it. It goes so quickly that I’m really glad we spread this over a few days. I can’t imagine getting married in one day, we just wanted it to go on and on!
What’s the best thing about being married?
It’s hard to put my finger on, it just feels special and amazing. Like an enormous bear hug.
Quick supplier list for other brides and grooms:
Vowed and Amazed – letter lights
Tracy Morter – photography
Jay Archer – florist
Petal and Feast – the cakes and desserts
The Pizza Oven – the best ever wood fired pizzas